Family Haven introduces new parenting program with an enticing raffle

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

If you are an expectant mother, first time parent or part of a blossoming family with children under the age of three, Tulalip Family Haven wants to hear from you. 

Throughout the years, the department has assisted Tulalip tribal members, the community, and members of other tribal nations by developing programs that cater to local youth, parents, and families. 

Through these programs, such as teen outreach, life skills, and a number of family-based programs, Family Haven provides their clients with educational tools and resources while building a space where the people they service can support and relate to one another, offer tips from personal experience, or simply lend a listening-ear to others in-need. 

No matter the program, Family Haven has made it their priority to ensure that their families, from birth to parenthood, are on-track and in the best position to meet their personal short and long-term goals. By providing all the necessary tools and support, Family Haven designed each of their programs to empower tribal youth and families. 

Keeping true to that successful formula, the department is introducing a new course to Tulalip. And they are doing it in a unique and fun way to engage people right off the bat and build a connection with local parents to better serve their needs.

“We’re officially launching Family Spirit,” said Sasha Smith, Family and Youth Support Coordinator for Family Haven. “We are accepting clients and want to get the word out. It has been really successful in other tribal communities and it’s evidenced-based, which is pretty hard to come by. It’s one of the very few.”

Tulalip News has the inside scoop on what the new program is and the specifics of everything that it entails. However, we will refrain from releasing this information just yet, at least until after June 25, when the winners of the Family Spirit promotional raffle are announced. 

Sasha shared, “For one-week people can call-in, ask questions and get familiar with the program and in turn they will be entered into the drawing. We bought fun raffle prizes for those that call-in and we’ll close it on June 25, and deliver the prizes that week. We would like to gain that relationship, get to know you and listen to your needs and wants as parents.”

Prizes include an InstaPot pressure cooker, a Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 car seat, and a summertime gift bundle that contains sidewalk chalk, bubble wands and a full-sized Radio Flyer wagon. 

“The biggest thing is having that personal connection and creating an opportunity to really talk,” Sasha stated. “Because what happens when people call-in and ask about the program, I get to understand a little bit more about them. We want to raise awareness to the community about [Family Spirit] and make sure that we are sharing those resources with them. If you or someone you know is pregnant, if you have little ones under the age of three, or if you just want to learn more about parenting, call us on up!”

To learn more about Family Spirit and to be entered into the giveaway, please contact Family Haven at (360) 716-4402.

stəgʷad (Salmonberry) season

Submitted by AnneCherise Jensen 

stəgʷad (Salmonberries) play an important role in the culture, traditions and way of life of many Native Americans tribes – all the way from the west coast of Northern California, through Canada, and up to Alaska. Traditionally, the Salmonberry is named after Coast Salish Native Americans fondness for eating the berries with both salmon & salmon roe. Salmonberries also play a significance in similarity in how they look a lot like salmon roe, with their orangey-pink color of the berries. The berries were generally eaten fresh, due to their high water content and difficulty to preserve – and considered a delicacy in Native American culture. To this day, salmonberries have also been known to be made into jams and jellies, and can be preserved by freezing. 

 Salmonberries are the earliest berry to ripen and harvest in the Spring, harvested anywhere as early May to late July depending on the elevation of the berry shrubs. Lower elevation bushes will be the first to ripen, while higher elevation will ripen later in summer.  Salmonberry bushes tend to have fewer thorns than some other berry species, and typically make for a smooth and pleasant harvest.  Salmonberry colors vary from dark red, to pink, to bright orange. Each color tends to have its own unique flavor, with the vibrant red known to be slightly sweeter and the orange berries slightly more tart. They are a native northwest plant, growing in abundance in marshy, wetland and forested areas with nutrient rich, unbothered soils. 

Salmonberries are an extremely nutrient dense and healthy food, some may also even refer to it as a superfood. Salmonberries are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help nourish & replenish the body. They are especially high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, Manganese, fiber and rich phytonutrients. Here is the nutrient information on one serving (1 cup) of salmonberries. As you can see, salmonberries are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and are a great traditional food to add to your diet this time of year. 

Serving Size:  8 oz or 1 cup 

Nutrient % Daily Value  (% Daily Value is  the percentage of the Daily Value for each nutrient in a serving of the food. The Daily Values are recommendation amounts of nutrients for individuals to consume each day for optimal health outcomes )

  • Fiber 15%
  • Folate 10%
  • Riboflavin 11%
  • Phosphorus 9% 
  • Magnesium 9% 
  • Manganese 108% 
  • Vitamin A 22% 
  • Vitamin B6 14% 
  • Vitamin C 23% 
  • Vitamin E 16% 
  • Vitamin K 34% 

stəgʷad Salmonberry Jam recipe

Salmonberry jam is a great way to preserve and utilize a large salmonberry harvest. The jam can either be made within 24 hours after harvest, or you can freeze them and make the jam at a later time. The sugar to berry ratio is as follows; Measure the berries to find out how many cups you have and put them in a saucepan. Measure out 2/3 cup of sugar for every 1 cup of berries. For example,  for three cups of berries, you will need 2 cups of sugar. For every 3 cups of berries, you will need a half a cup of lemon juice. 


  • 3 cups Salmon Berries 
  • 2 cups sugar 
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice 


  • Rinse salmon berries in light lukewarm water. 
  • Add salmonberries, sugar and lemon juice into a large saucepan. Your ingredient measurements may vary depending on how many berries you plan to process. 
  • Turn the saucepan on medium heat and mix all ingredients together. Allow to warm up the mixture for about 15 minutes. 
  • Once ingredients start to warm up, use a potato masher to slowly break down the berries into smaller pieces. 
  • Once berries are broken down – turn the heat up and allow the jam mixture to boil anywhere from 5-8 minutes. This will create a thicker consistency and the volume of the mixture should reduce to half. 
  • After boiling, turn on low and allow to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. 
  • Test the thickness of the jam by taking out a teaspoon and allowing it to cool. 
  • Once you get a thickness you like – remove from stove top and place into your favorite container. 
  • Refrigerate. Should last approx a year in the refrigerator. 
  • Enjoy salmonberry jam on some whole wheat toast, protein pancakes, or some vanilla frozen yogurt! 

**This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Tulalip Emergency Management hosts first American Red Cross Blood Drive

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

“Twenty years ago, I almost died twice,” shared Erin Taylor. “I had to have blood transfusions. So, in order to give back, I’m donating blood today.”

In a partnership with the American Red Cross, the Tulalip Emergency Management department organized and hosted an all-day blood drive on May 20. While it seemed like a dark and cloudy day throughout the Northwest, it was warm weather and clear skies on the Tulalip Reservation, permitting a beautiful view of Tulalip Bay for the blood donors who were inside the Kenny Moses Building, stretched out on medical tables and squeezing stress balls for optimum blood flow. 

“Blood drives are important because your donation saves lives,” expressed Vanessa Kelsey, Tulalip Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “This is our very first American Red Cross Blood Drive, the first of many. Ashlynn (Danielson) [Emergency Preparedness Manager] is on the American Red Cross Board and that’s how we got set-up with them. When Red Cross reached out to us, we secured the building and made it happen.”

According to the American Red Cross, 4.5 million lives are saved each year by blood transfusions. The non-profit also claims that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. is in the need of blood, and just one donation can save up to three lives.

Just moments after arriving at the Kenny Moses Building to donate blood himself, Tulalip Bay Fire Department Training Captain Chris Finley stated, “In the medical world, there’s always a shortage of blood for people who need it, whether that’s little kids who have cancer or people who suffer traumas. Anything we can do to help out – absolutely, why not. I would recommend everybody who’s in good health to donate blood; hospitals are always hurting for more blood.”

The Emergency Management team had a full schedule on the day of their first blood drive. After it was all said and done, the American Red Cross reported, “last Thursday, the Tulalip Tribes collected thirty-three units of blood, saving up to 99 lives. [We] can’t tell you enough how amazing this is for a first-time drive.” 

The Office of Emergency Management is planning to host more blood drives on a regular basis, with the next drive occurring on July 29th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Tulalip Dining Hall. If you are interested in making a donation, please schedule an appointment by contacting 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and enter: TulalipTribes. 

The American Red Cross also has a phone app where you can make appointments, track your personal donations and earn badges the more you donate. Vanessa and Ashlynn are calling upon anybody who is eligible to donate at the next drive. And to speed-up the process during your appointment, the team also encourages donors to fill out the American Red Cross RapidPass prior to their scheduled donation time.